Laurel Vesper Service At The Phelon Farm, Granville. June 23, 1940


Laurel Vesper Service At The Phelon Farm, Granville. June 23, 1940


Springfield Union account of a service held at the farm of Austin T. Phelon on Sunday, June 23, 1940. Article published on June 24.

A remarkable event attended by over 1000 people during "Laurel Week." Dr. James Gordon Gilkey of Springfield delivered a message focused on recent events in Europe and belief in the "triumph of right, truth and kindness, rather than the victory of brute force."

He predicts that, "New leaders will arise. Even if violence and hatred overrun Europe, in a million homes in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France and other countries boys and girls will be trained to think courageous thoughts and to plan a world organized around friendship, not force."

This service took place just 16 days after the start of the London blitz during which the Germans bombed London 56 of the following 57 days and nights. Continuous bombing lasted until May 1941. In December 1941 Germany declared war on the United States shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the United States responded in kind.

Seventy three of tiny Granville's citizens would serve in World War II. Randolph Brooks and Donald Frisbie would lose their lives in battle.

By the end of World War II in 1945 it is estimated that there were 60-85 million civilian and military deaths worldwide.


The Springfield Union, Springfield, Mass.


23 Jun 1940


From the collection of Muriel Dickinson Leslie.
Generously loaned to the Granville Library Historical Room for digitizing by Darcy and Julie Clifford.


“Laurel Vesper Service At The Phelon Farm, Granville. June 23, 1940,” Granville History Digital Collection, accessed April 17, 2024,


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